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Calls for better management of travel restrictions in Europe

ECTAA regrets that Member States are still picking and choosing for which countries they will lift the travel ban. Especially, despite the agreement on the countries for which the ban on non-essential travel into the EU can be lifted.

Travel restrictions across Europe are confusing citizens and travel professionals, ECTAA says.

The group represents some 70,000 travel agents and tour operators in Europe. They provide consultancy and sell transport, accommodation, leisure and tourism services. They also offer combined products to leisure and business customers.

The new ‘white list’ mentions the countries for which the ban on non-essential travel into the EU should be lifted. It excludes Serbia and Montenegro, while adds no new countries.

ECTAA regrets that Member States have not implemented the recommendation in a uniform manner. Some states continue to apply a travel ban for some of countries. And they still have a negative travel advice, warning their citizens.

Conflicting travel advises

“Conflicting travel advises on the same destination country confuse citizens and undermine the restart of traveling and tourism in Europe. We need more coordination within Europe on the lifting of travel restrictions and travel advisories,” Pawel Niewiadomski, president of ECTAA says.

ECTAA regrets that many countries issue blanket travel advisories for a whole country, when problematic areas are easily identifiable. Travel warnings should be specific about the location and the geographical extent of the problems and, whenever possible, include maps and indications of distance.

“We need to leave these chaotic policies behind and base decisions for lifting travel restrictions on a scientific approach in order to allow travel and tourism to start up again with confidence” , Niewiadomski concludes.

A4E and ACI EUROPE are also urging EU and Schengen States to lift the ban on non-essential travel for countries, where the epidemiological situation allows.

The two associations represent Europe’s airlines and airports.

They support regular updating of the white list from the EU, including its expansion to other non-EU and Schengen countries.

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